Quantcast

Jump to content

» «
Photo

Morning After

12 replies to this topic
mark-2007
  • mark-2007

    Big Homie

  • The Connection
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2006

#1

Posted 31 July 2011 - 07:00 PM Edited by mark-2007, 01 August 2011 - 04:18 PM.

Morning After

I awake with a start, the curtains sharply drawn open to bathe me in the harsh early sunlight. The sky, cloudless and blue, the type of sky that leaves the grass thick with frost, ready to break under foot. There are small creases in the bed sheet where someone has slept beside me, the duvet lays crumpled at the corner, letting a chill in that I am quick to put an end to. I wrap the blanket tighter around my body. My eyes begin to readjust to the brightness and I take another look at the cold, winter dawn through the window pane. A silhouette in the light, Rachael busies herself tying the curtains back, bends down to pick up a cast off item of clothing. She’s wearing a mismatch of a pink vest top, perhaps a bit outgrown now, and loose-fitted, pyjama bottoms. The alarm clock atop the bedside table blinks 07:48, 07:48, 07:48.
“Been up long?”
She takes a while to answer, busying herself with menial housework and all the time not looking my way. She finally grunts, hard to tell if it’s a yes or no, and walks out the room. I guess morning sex is off the agenda. I rub at my eyes, stretch, and then retrieve my pair of boxer shorts from the floor beside the bed. Sliding them on, I get up and head to my first port of call, the bathroom. Piss, flush, wash my hands.
I gaze at my reflection in the mirror, brush a loose eyelash from my cheek. My lips are cracked in places, the usual sure sign I have a hangover. I run the tap, make a cup from my hands, and drink a few mouthfuls of water to get rid of the taste of stale beer and vodka. I run a hand through my hair in a vain attempt to make it look less dishevelled.

She’s leaning on the kitchen counter when I walk in, a fresh cup of coffee clutched between her hands, scanning the front page of some gossip magazine. A bikini clad figure adorns one of the pages; she’s standing on a picturesque beach, white sand beneath her feet along with the headline ‘Svelte in summer!’. Steam rises from the cup, curling around Rachael’s face. She blows at the liquid, takes another sip and places it down beside her. Craning my neck to further examine the article, I place an arm around her waist and lean into her hair, still thick with hairspray from the night before. The smell of perfume clings to her skin.
“You should get dressed,” she says, taking my arm away and carefully placing it back by my side. “I have things to do this morning.”
“Oh.” She turns a page, eyes still focused on the magazine. “Things?”
She eventually turns her attention away from the magazine, slides herself away from between the counter and my body, and turns to face me. “Look,” she says. Another pause. “Michael’s stopping by later.”
“Oh,” I repeat, my mind draws a blank and my eyes flicker away from her, turning their gaze elsewhere, onto inanimate objects, the toaster, the steaming cup of coffee. f*ck. “I thought the two of you were over, y’know – ”
“We’ve been talking and we’re going to give it another go. It’d be best if you left.”
I run a hand through my hair. “Sure.” I turn back to the bedroom and get my things.

The bedroom floor is cluttered; several items of clothing lay in heaps. My right shoe, Rachael’s bra, a torn condom packet, hazy memories of last night play back in my mind. I hunt around for the other shoe, annoyed to find it not neatly kicked off next to the right one. A pair of Stan Smith trainers lies under the bed. Not mine. f*cking Michael. Finally, with left shoe located, I pull on my jeans and button up my shirt.
My leather jacket hangs on a hook in the hall, by the door. I scoop it up, check the pockets for my wallet and put it on. Rachael appears in the doorway of the kitchen, watching me as I stoop to tie a lace. She reaches forwards, unlocks the door, and retreats back to the doorway.
“So, uh, I hope you and Michael work things out.” What am I saying?
The corners of her lips curl up into an empty smile, her blues eyes remain cold, devoid of emotion.
“Bye.”
I walk out the door and down the path. I stop to turn back, as if to say something meaningful, what exactly, I don’t know, but the door has already closed shut behind me and I’m faced with nothing, except for an ornate number ‘9’. I turn back to the path, it’s a thirty minute walk back to my apartment or I could just hop on a bus. My head pounds, something I have somehow only just realised. I gaze up to the sky beginning to grey over and straighten my collar.

---

Thanks for reading. Brutal feedback welcome, I'm sure someone will spot a whole array of mistakes.

This is the first bit of writing I've done in what seems like years. It's part of a fairly short story I have half-planned, takes place about half way through. I figured/hoped maybe having something to work towards would set me in good stead to begin proper.

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

    Killed by drones.

  • The Yardies
  • Joined: 01 May 2009
  • None
  • Most Talented Writer 2015
    Most Talented Writer 2014
    Most Talented Writer 2013
    Best Story/Poem 2013 "The Storm"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2011 "Justice in Flames"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2010 "City of Lies"

#2

Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:17 PM

I have to say man I'm loving this. The imagery is fantastic imo and i could see the scene playing out in my mind as clearly as if it's on TV.

As for mistakes, i have an ability to just not see small spelling errors and grammatical mistypes.

Very nice read, i enjoyed it.

Oh and as for the short story - if there's more, i look forward to reading that smile.gif

mark-2007
  • mark-2007

    Big Homie

  • The Connection
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2006

#3

Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:50 PM

Why thank ya very much! And yeah, I do hope to make something more of this. I have a small bit of the plot planned that occurs before what is in this topic, and a decent idea of what will come afterwards.

The one thing I'm kinda worried about is that it'll come across as teen angst. I hope not, bits of it are bleak but not "angst", and I'm a few weeks away from being classed as a "teen".

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

    Killed by drones.

  • The Yardies
  • Joined: 01 May 2009
  • None
  • Most Talented Writer 2015
    Most Talented Writer 2014
    Most Talented Writer 2013
    Best Story/Poem 2013 "The Storm"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2011 "Justice in Flames"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2010 "City of Lies"

#4

Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:34 PM

QUOTE (mark-2007 @ Tuesday, Aug 2 2011, 19:50)
Why thank ya very much! And yeah, I do hope to make something more of this. I have a small bit of the plot planned that occurs before what is in this topic, and a decent idea of what will come afterwards.

The one thing I'm kinda worried about is that it'll come across as teen angst. I hope not, bits of it are bleak but not "angst", and I'm a few weeks away from being classed as a "teen".

you're only 12? (still a good ten years yougner than I)

You've got some potential there! Keep working on that skill man, don't do what I did and get all lazy and stop writing for like a year tounge.gif

Still look forward to reading it - feel free to PM me when it's done, in case i don't see it smile.gif

mark-2007
  • mark-2007

    Big Homie

  • The Connection
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2006

#5

Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:20 AM

Haha, f*ck, I meant a few weeks ago from no longer being a teen. I'm nearly 20. Although writing about a one night stand/rejection kinda thing at the age of 12 would be impressive!

Craig
  • Craig

  • Moderator
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2007
  • None
  • Best Writer 2011
    Time Traveller Of The Year 1984

#6

Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:03 AM

I can imagine you being 12. Suddenly drinking Sailor Jerry's straight seems like a more impressive feat.

This works great as a stand-alone piece. That isn't to say I wouldn't like to see more, because I would, but I think what makes this such an absorbing read (for me at least) is that it's easy to relate to. Not all of us have woken up in a near-stranger's bed trying to gather clothes, but almost all of us have been at the receiving end of a choice that left you second best, be it in relationships, a job, education or even with good friends. It's a feeling you can't compare to anything else, and it's apparent that while this was just a bit of fun for our main character, he clearly has feelings.

I look forward to where this goes. smile.gif

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

    Killed by drones.

  • The Yardies
  • Joined: 01 May 2009
  • None
  • Most Talented Writer 2015
    Most Talented Writer 2014
    Most Talented Writer 2013
    Best Story/Poem 2013 "The Storm"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2011 "Justice in Flames"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2010 "City of Lies"

#7

Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:08 AM

QUOTE (mark-2007 @ Wednesday, Aug 3 2011, 02:20)
Haha, f*ck, I meant a few weeks ago from no longer being a teen. I'm nearly 20. Although writing about a one night stand/rejection kinda thing at the age of 12 would be impressive!

haha
Well I still like this piece smile.gif icon14.gif cookie.gif

gta dad
  • gta dad

    penis dickling, the goose

  • The Connection
  • Joined: 27 Feb 2011
  • None
  • Most Member 2014

#8

Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:49 PM

This rules, the way it flows so vividly and the scene you set is just so... awesome? I can't honestly think of anything I can flaw you on here, personally I found this an brilliant read.

Rush.
  • Rush.

    August SSotM Competitor

  • Members
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2011

#9

Posted 03 August 2011 - 03:46 PM

The story itself is quite compelling. I am very fond of writer's using imagery in their stories. It makes it more realistic and vivid. I must say Mark, this is a fine piece of writing. I am looking forward to any sort of continuation of this story.

Eminence
  • Eminence

  • Leone Family Mafia
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2006
  • None

#10

Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:57 PM

QUOTE (Rush. @ Wednesday, Aug 3 2011, 16:46)
I am very fond of writer's using imagery in their stories.

Lol... isn't that like saying that you like it when writers use words to make stories? tounge.gif

I like this story, but I think it grows stronger as it goes on. Not that it has a bad opening - I'll explain more in a moment. I think the way it was set out, it was obvious there was a sting in the tail coming somewhere - something wasn't quite right with them - but despite that, I think you played it well. The way it unfolds to reveal he's being played by her simply fits, it works well. And the sort of distant way he plays off it - talking about mundane things, for example - really works, too... mainly because it's all just layering over the fact that he's feeling more under the surface. That's good stuff.

What I don't like, though, is that opening. When you compare it to how the story progresses, it's just not the same character - it's not in his voice. Compare it to the crude "piss, flush, wash" segment, for example. Put it next to the matter-of-fact description of his clothes, of straightening his collar in the grey afternoon. Next to this, it just doesn't sit well - it's like you wanted a really ornate, not-quite-verbose-but-heading-there opening to show off your descriptive powers. I don't buy that this guy, this distant, somewhat alienated character, stops to take in the "the sky, cloudless and blue, the type of sky that leaves the grass thick with frost". It's too much of a romantic image. Don't get me wrong - that is one beautiful line of prose in my opinion. But it's a little inconsistent with the rest of the character's voice (again in my opinion).

When I began thinking about that, though, it did lead me to a thought - that this romantic imagery betrays his outward appearance, that it hints at the emotions hiding under the surface of this guy. But having the story from first-person and only featuring this romantic voice in a short segment doesn't play up to that as well as it could. I can imagine that if the entire story were rid of its slicker, cruder description, then the contrast between his distant actions and the underlying vivid prose would highlight a major part of his character.

mark-2007
  • mark-2007

    Big Homie

  • The Connection
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2006

#11

Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:54 PM

Thanks everyone, very much! Much appreciated.

So Emi, that last paragraph of your feedback: I did have concerns about the "morning sex off the agenda" and "Piss, flush, wash hands" precisely because it does seem a bit crude and kind of lad-ish of the main character, something that I want to avoid. Do you think that, if I were to maybe curb this or eliminate it entirely (I'm quite fond of slightly less blunt, crude bits of narrative though), that'd fit better and allow me to get away more with the prose you speak of?

I have a definite idea of what kind of person the main character is, so I'd like to really get it right.

Eminence
  • Eminence

  • Leone Family Mafia
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2006
  • None

#12

Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:59 PM

I think so, yeah. The way I worded it was that the more ornate prose that opened it came off as odd in comparison to the rest - but I suppose it's just as correct to flip it round and say the cruder parts come off as odd in comparison with the start! I guess when I was reading it I interpreted the cruder parts as feeling quite real to the situation, so thought that they were the best fit. Both together just struck me as a little odd, a little false.

If you limited those cruder moments, though, yeah, I think it would definitely work. And then, like I said, you have that whole metaphor about his inner voice trying to break out - that is, if you intend to pursue the idea that his deeper feelings betray his outer actions. wink.gif

Padmasana
  • Padmasana

    say wha?

  • The Connection
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2011

#13

Posted 05 August 2011 - 03:09 AM

Mark, you cease to amaze me. I love this piece and it's one of the best I've ever seen you post, and I've freestyle rap battled with you. wink.gif




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users